For those of you on a budget but want to give XLR gear a try, Amazon is having a sale on a wide variety of Behringer gear. Highlights of this sale include: Behringer Xenyx 302USB Mixer $40 - A compact desktop mixer that can also act as an audio interface and/or external soundcard / hardware volume controls and basic 2-band EQ for gaming and headsets. Has phantom power so you can use even XLR condenser mics. Behringer U-phoria UM2 Interface $30 - Behringer's entry-level 2x2 audio interface. Supports one mic in with phantom power, one instrument in if you need it, and headphone monitoring. At $30 there is no lower entry point with this kind of feature set. Behringer U-phoria UMC22 $40 - Also a 2x2 audio interface from Behringer it has feature parity with its little brother with one significant upgrade: It uses Behringer's newer MIDAS mic pre-amps that are a bit cleaner on dynamic mics. Also, it has better build quality than its little brother. At one point, I owned all 3 of these and I can't recommend them enough. With a good USB audio interface, you gain access to a wider variety of recording hardware and can actually save money by being able to buy and sell individual parts of your project studio one piece at a time, as well as a very healthy used market of recording gear. If you need a microphone to pair with your new USB interface entry level recommendations include: $20 - Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 (Dynamic $40 - Sure SM48-LC (Dynamic) $70 - MXL 990 (Condenser) $100 - Sure SM58-LC (Dynamic) $100 - Behringer B-1 (Condenser) Also, don't forget your accessories like your Gooseneck Pop Filter and Balanced XLR Cable. Make sure your XLR cables are the balanced type. While there is no benefit of using a balanced cable on unbalanced gear, using an unbalanced gear on any balanced gear, like the microphones above could introduce noise, as unbalanced cables are not properly grounded.